The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday postponed its call for countrywide shutdown as per the Plan D to put pressure on the government for the constitution of a judicial commission, following deadly terrorist attack on an Army-run school in Peshawar.
“We have decided to postpone the call for countrywide shutdown,” PTI Chairman Imran Khan said before leaving for Peshawar.
The second decision, Khan said, was to postpone the dialogue with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over the constitution of judicial commission.
While making the announcement, Imran did not give next date for the nationwide protest.
Imran Khan would himself participate in the meeting convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Peshawar on Wednesday. He would lead the PTI delegation which would also include Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and party’s Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi Condemning the school carnage, Khan said that terrorist attack on innocent children was worst ever form of barbarism.
Moreover, the PTI chief went on to say that “It is painful to think what trauma families will be going through at this moment who had sent their children to school. We pray for them [families] and entire Pakistan stands by them and share their grief.”
According to Plan D, the PTI had given the call to lock down the entire country on December 18. In the first phase of the plan, the party had shut down three major cities of the country Faisalabad (December 8), Karachi (December 12) and Lahore (December 15).
“After mutual consultation between the PTI and PML-N talks scheduled for today [Tuesday] have been postponed in view of the terrible tragedy in Peshawar,” said a statement issued by PTI Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari.
“No religion allows such barbaric act,” she said, adding “it is a national tragedy”. The PTI also announced that on Wednesday [today] they would offer funeral prayer, in absentia, for the martyrs at D-Chowk of the Constitution Avenue.
“We condemn the TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] which owned this attack on innocent children. It is time to rise beyond mere compensations for victims and condemnations,” the PTI chairman said through a tweet.
“We must unite against such inhumanity. The provincial and federal governments and military must be on the same page to proactively rid the country of terrorism,” he added.
Imran further noted: “Tomorrow [Wednesday] at 6:30pm we will offer Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza [funeral prayers in absentia] for the Shuhada-e-Peshawar [martyrs of Peshawar] at Azadi Chowk. We would like everyone to attend.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2014.